There is a timeless quality about Shaivism – which preceded Hinduism as we know it today – that sets it apart from the modern faiths on the planet such as Christianity and Islam. Of course, we know that the founders of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were all good Hindus. Shaivism is so very ancient that it appears among the first civilizations unearthed by archaeologists. It is our belief that Shaivism is as old as man himself, the original or seed religion from which all others have sprung forth; and since they are the offspring of Shaivism we look upon them as parents look upon their children, with a deep love and a hope that they will do well and look askance when they don’t. There never was a time when Shaivism, the Sanatana Dharma [‘Eternal Way’] did not exist on the planet. Other religions trace their lineage to a man, to a founder, to a messiah or a theologian. Shaivism does not. It has no founder because it was not founded by man. It is coexistent with man. That makes Shaivism unique, different from all the religions and sects that followed it.
– Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami